The project Born Nowhere uses Social media platforms to capture how the change of a personâ€™s facial features, expression or physiognomy, can affect viewersâ€™ interpretation of that person. By using self-portraits and modifying them via digital techniques, the photographer transforms facial characteristics, giving herself a new personality. The digital images are then posted on Facebook, only with the caption "Born Nowhere" and no further information provided. Viewers are invited to provide their interpretation on each photograph, thereby creating a unique persona with its own name and characteristics. The description of each new character is influenced by what psychoanalysts call â€œprojectionâ€, that is, the viewerâ€™s background, reality and fantasies. After receiving several comments about the new character, the photographer creates its bio inspired by her first motivation and viewersâ€™ perceptions. According to some theories of personality each individual is the result of the interplay of 3 factors: what the person is, what he or she wants to be, and what others believe this person is.
Lais Pontes is a Brazilian conceptual photographer. She gained international recognition through her project "Born Nowhere" which founded the concept of creating characters using crowd-sourcing through social media. Lais was born in Fortaleza, Brazil in 1981. In 2011 she graduated from the International Center of Photography in NYC. Lais has been exhibiting her work worldwide. In 2011, the project Born Nowhere was selected to Paraty em Foco 7th International Photo Festival, the biggest photography event in Brazil. That same year it received the Juror's Prize from Barbara DeGenevieve at Filter Photo Festival 2011 in Chicago. In 2012 she exhibited her work at International ArtExpo and at Premio Arte Laguna, both in Venice, Italy.